Saturday 8 June 2024

Misrepresentations and omission in John's 2024 Paper

"It is probable that Stonehenge was built where the stones were found, as suggested by Judd (1903) and Field et al. (2015), and this is supported here by the preliminary analysis of the Newall Boulder."

 The present author (John, 2018a) pointed out that the bulk of the Stonehenge bluestone monoliths are not elegant and carefully selected pillars but highly abraded and weathered erratic boulders and slabs of many different rock types, probably collected from within the Stonehenge landscape (Field et al., 2015). 


Judd, W.: Note on the nature and origin of the rock fragments found in the excavations made at Stonehenge by Mr Gowland in 1901, Wiltshire Magazine, 47–61, 1903.

Field, D., Anderson-Whymark, H., Linford, N., Barber, M., Bowden, M., Linford, P., Topping, P., Abbott, M., Bryan, P., Cunliffe, D., Hardie, C., Martin, L., Payne, A., Pearson, T., Small, F., Smith, N., Soutar, S., and Winton, H.: Analytical Surveys of Stonehenge and its Environs, 2009–2013: Part 2– the Stones, P. Prehist. Soc., 81, 125–148,, 2015.

John, B. S.: The Stonehenge Bluestones, Greencroft Books, 256 pp., ISBN 978 0905559 94 0, 2018a

Quote from: John, B. S.: A bluestone boulder at Stonehenge: implications for the glacial transport theory, E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 73, 117–134,, 2024.

The two references can be found at : 

There are serious problems with this key claim from John (2024). He provides three references, one to his own book and one to a note, not a peer reviewed paper, that is over 120 years old and is based on outdated scientific methods. It is near worthless. 

The important one is Field et al, which provides a comprehensive review of possible sources of the Stones of Stonehenge.  Its conclusions however are:

"The ‘bluestones’ have long been considered to derive from off-site sources, principally the Preseli Hills of south-west Wales over 200 km awayField et al. (2015) p.126

"Field examination coupled with analysis of the laser scan data, however, indicates that at least three different types of sarsen are present, potentially indicating that the stones originate from several sources.Field et al. (2015) p.129

"If, as seems potentially the case, some of the sarsen is local to the site, or derives from a variety of locations and thus not all the subject of a long and difficult journey, it is possible to start investigating and discussing the varied biographies of individual stones. ... The question of the bluestones is another matter and the current research into their source suggests that new and perhaps more decisive data may soon be forthcoming (Bevins et al. 2012; 2014; M. Parker Pearson 2009; pers. comm.)." Field et al. (2015) p.144

John's statement is not supported by this reference.

More importantly he has not referenced the latest and most scientific analysis of the sarsen stones sources - David J. Nash et al. ,Origins of the sarsen megaliths at Stonehenge.Sci. Adv.6,eabc0133(2020)DOI:10.1126/sciadv.abc0133 - a study he was well aware of before writing this paper, see: 

Nash et al provide evidence that the sarsen stones of Stonehenge were not found where the monument was built and so is extremely relevant to the paper. It is essential for understanding the nature of a paper which investigates the sources of the stones of Stonehenge.

A failure to cite relevant papers can be the result of ignorance but when done knowingly it is wilful omission.

"An author should cite those publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work and that will quickly guide the reader to the initial work essential for understanding the present investigation"

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